the quiescent melancholy of the old man glistened in
a teardrop that crept down a wrinkle carved on his face.
he sat alone in his quaint little house,
rocking back and forth on his stained oak rocking-chair,
pensively staring at all the clutter stacked and scattered
around the living room in all old tomato boxes.
his wife used to grow tomatoes out behind the shed,
she tended to her plants like he tended to her heart.
fifty-four years of memories immure him his chair
like the corn stalks that once filled his now barren field.
in one of the boxes he finds an old water-damaged photo
of him and his wife when they were young,
when the tomatoes grew plump and the corn stood tall.
six years - it had been six years since she passed -
and everything that they once shared still sits perfectly in tact,
as if when he would wake up he would find her in the kitchen
brewing up coffee and scrambling eggs.
all of her clothes still hang, her toiletries still in place,
even her hand-written lists still lay scattered on the counter.
the wizened, white haired man rubbed his worn thumb
over her face as if he would find her silken skin on the picture.
"happy birthday, pumpkin," he whispered to her.
after wistfully thinking about how it once was,
he reminded himself about how it now is, about his life today.
the television is all he has, the thing that breaks the perpetual
silence that consumes his days.
he slowly stands up and walks to the screen door,
opening it up to the twilit countryside of west Texas.
standing out on the raddled porch, he looks up at the pecan tree
that his now grown grandchildren once rattled with a pole
to get the pecans to fall so his wife, who they called granny,
could make the best damn pecan pie in Winkler county.
he stares at the falling sheets of scrap metal built around his barn
and makes his way back to the tired shed before night falls.
he musters up the strength to hop on his sun-worn tractor
that is now covered in rusted paint and cobwebs.
again, the man begins to cry; he remembers the summer days
when he and his wife would ride together on the once
bright green tractor and tend to the fields.
"why, Lord, why won't you take me, i've lived a full life, i'm ready,"
he desperately yells out to mackerel sky.
"i thank you for today, lord, but i pray for no tomorrow.
there ain't anything left for me no more - please, Lord"